The report of a case of “monkeypox” in Texas has triggered the alarms of the state and federal health authorities and the monitoring of some 200 people who may have had some type of contact with the patient since he traveled from Nigeria to Dallas.
However, particular conditions are needed for a person to become infected with the disease first discovered in humans in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), transmission of the virus can occur when a person comes into contact with it by an animal, human or contaminated materials.
“The virus enters the body through skin lesions (even when they are not visible), the respiratory tract, or the mucous membranes (eyes, nose or mouth). Animal-to-human transmission can occur through a bite or scratch, the preparation of bushmeat, direct contact with bodily fluids or injuries with materials, or indirect contact with materials that caused injuries, as well as contaminated bedding “, detailed the CDC.
In the case of human-to-human transmission, they mainly occur through large respiratory droplets.
“Generally, respiratory droplets cannot travel more than a few feet, so prolonged face-to-face contact is required. Other methods of transmission from human to human include contact with bodily fluids or materials from an injury, as well as indirect contact with material from an injury such as contaminated clothing and bedding, ”specified the office attached to the federal Department of Health.
The first symptoms of the disease are: fever, headache, muscle pain, back pain, swollen lymph nodes, chills and tiredness.
Within 1 to 3 days (sometimes longer) after the onset of fever, the patient will develop a skin rash, which usually starts on the face and spreads to other parts of the body.
As the virus attack progresses, patients will suffer various skin lesions that can include macules, papules, vesicles, and pustules.
Symptoms of the disease last 2 to 4 weeks.
In Africa, the virus has killed 1 in 10 people who contracted the disease.
Currently, there is no treatment for the infection, however vaccination against smallpox can be effective in preventing simian, as the disease is also known. Also, antivirals may be prescribed.
Among the recommendations of the CDC to avoid contagion with monkeypox, they highlight avoiding contact with animals that may carry the virus, including those that are sick or found dead in an outbreak area.
People should also avoid contact with materials, such as bedding, associated with sick animals.
In the cases of infected patients, these must be isolated from other people.
It is also important to practice good hygiene after contact with infected animals or humans. For example, washing your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.